Open Crawl Space Vents

I posted this last fall, and decided to re-post after working through yet another sale with mold in the crawl space.  Tips to avoid an expensive remediation:

Our beautiful “Seven Mile” island…surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, tidal creeks, and back bay.  There are many days when we can actually SEE the moisture in the air.

This unique environment requires homes to be properly vented to prevent damage from moisture and mold. 

1) Crawl Space: Open the foundation vents in the spring and replace the crawl space door with a screened door (Richardson’s Screen on 39th and Ocean Drive will make one to fit).  Or, replace the old aluminum vents with Smart Vents for even better air flow (and often lower flood insurance cost).

Remove any debris in the crawl- especially wood products.  Left over decking is “lunch” for termites.  Unless your ground regularly floods, a vapor barrier is recommended (basically, a thick plastic cover for the dirt).  Close the vents/ crawl door in the fall to protect exposed water pipes during the cold months.

2) Attic: The soffit vents (around the perimeter of the house) need to be clear of insulation.  Newer homes have ridge vents to help with air flow.

3) Drainage:  Most newer homes do not have gutters.  This drives the home inspectors crazy!  Make sure water does not flow toward the house (and into the crawl space) after a heavy rain.  Also check the water flow from the outside shower- proper grading will help.  Trim landscaping away from foundation vents.  And, remember the old landscaping design with raised beds and railroad ties?  This is a termite and moisture combination that will ultimately cause major problems.

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2 Comments

  1. sheila rogers
    Posted April 23, 2011 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    Please tell me who I can get to install a vapor barrier in my home in avalon. I have a musty smell and i have cleaned the vents and I still have the smell on the bottom floor not the 2nd.

  2. Posted April 23, 2011 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    I sent you a direct message with names of local pest control companies who could help. However, a thorough inspection of the crawl space may be needed to determine the problem and best solution.

One Trackback

  1. By Mold on November 17, 2012 at 10:58 am

    [...] Even before Sandy, mold was a concern for homes along the shore.  I have provided tips in previous blog posts: http://anndelaney.com/2011/04/21/open-crawl-space-vents/ [...]

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